OPPOSE HUNTERS RIDGE STORAGE FACILITY, RV AND TRAILER PARKING ON AIRPORT ROAD
OPPOSE HUNTERS RIDGE STORAGE FACILITY, RV AND TRAILER PARKING ON AIRPORT ROAD
Why this petition matters
We, the undersigned, Flagler County residents and/or property owners, respectfully petition that the Flagler County Planning and Development Board reject Application #3300 for the proposed building of a 3-Story Storage facility including 63 RV and Trailer Parking spots.
The construction proposed for parcel 22-14-31-0000-01010-0110 immediately borders residential properties and violates Flagler County's Growth Management Department’s commitment to guide the type, intensity and location of new development while maintaining quality of life for residents, as set forth in the Flagler County Code, Article III, for the following reasons:
1. Failure to meet Flagler County Code: The proposed site location (titled 'Hemlock' on the Flagler County Master Plan) is zoned for Light Industrial use, which Flagler County Code specifies industrial performance standards must be maintained to provide reasonable measures to “protect residential property from the negative impacts of odors, fumes, smoke, noise, heat, glare, vibration, soot and dust,” all of which are proven negative impacts introduced by recreational vehicles (RV), boat haulers, commercial facility runoff, and increased traffic. This proposed site location is within only 300 feet of residential properties and will expose Flagler County residents to a severe reduction in quality of life caused by each of the negative impacts listed above. 8 of the RV parking spaces planned for the rear of the parking lot (south end) place the rear bumper of 8 RV’s only 120 feet away from the bordering property line of a Flagler County resident. The required backup and reverse signals on one RV alone reaches an average of 97-112 decibels. One RV generator produces noise pollution measured at 48-65 decibels at a range of 50 feet. One RV running engine produces 50-80 decibels. Noise levels greater than 80 decibels are considered potentially hazardous. For comparison, other sources of noise producing between 90 and 140 decibels include motorcycles, firearms, firecrackers, and tractors. Multiply the sound from just the closest 8 of 63 RV backup alarms, engines and RV generators and the combined volume will be deafening for the surrounding residential neighborhoods, especially the many homes within 300 feet. Odors, fumes, smoke, heat, glare, vibration, soot and dust that will be generated by these vehicles are additional supporting reasons this application violates Flagler County Code and must be REJECTED.
2. Dangers to schools and children: Pathways Elementary School is located 1 mile from the proposed site location. A community park and community pool is located only 3,888 feet from the proposed site location. Pine Trail Elementary is only 2.3 miles from the proposed site location. Introducing hundreds of large vehicles from storage unit customer traffic, 63 large RV's and Boat Haulers, plus service trucks to this residential community where school children are walking and riding bicycles to and from school or the community pool and park creates a major safety deficiencies. These vehicles are very large, difficult to maneuver, and have large blind spots making it difficult to see or hear children and their parents in safety cross walks and on sidewalks.
3. Increase in crime: Storage facilities including Life Storage, Inc. operate 24 hours a day and cause an increase in crime, especially burglaries, to the immediate area. To protect Life Storage Inc. from these crimes requires lighting the facility at night, use of cameras and loud alarms, introducing excessive light pollution and noise pollution to the residential neighborhoods. Storage facilities also experience elevated levels of vehicular accidents, requiring frequent emergency response. To prepare for the possibility of being a victim of these crimes and accidents, tenants of Life Storage Inc. are required to have or purchase insurance intended to cover property in the event of burglary of their storage units. On their own web site, Life Storage Inc. warns customers “there are plenty of reasons why attaining the appropriate (insurance) coverage is always your best option.” Among them, “the act of stealing property by forcible entry into the securely locked storage unit.”
4. FEMA evacuation routes compromised: Families and communities in Flagler County expect schools to keep their children and youths safe from threats (human-caused emergencies such as crime and violence) and hazards (natural disasters and accidents). The proposed facility on the small two-lane Airport Road will compromise existing school Emergency Operation Plans. In the event of an evacuation, schools and the families with children in these schools will have to contend with increased traffic from this proposed commercial property including large RV’s and Boat Haulers. FEMA evacuation routes used by residents in neighboring communities would become inaccessible if any part of of the two-lane Airport Road is blocked by one of the 63 RV's and Boat Haulers. If an RV or Boat Hauler were to become disabled on Airport Road during an emergency, access to adequate tow vehicles would require longer times to clear the evacuation routes, increasing the risk to Flagler County residents and the two nearby elementary schools.
5. Attractive Nuisance: The proposed 3-Story Storage Facility with 63 RV's and Boat Trailer Parking spots will create an attractive nuisance (as defined by Florida Statute 823.08) to children living in the immediate area and to the hundreds of children attending one of the two elementary schools located within walking distance of the proposed property. Building plans show the proposed facility is completely visible to residents on neighboring properties, which means the property can be easily trespassed. Life Storage Inc. owners as well as RV and Boat Hauler owners could be held liable for a child trespasser’s injury. Plans show the proposed facility landscaping can be easily trespassed. RV's and Boat Haulers often require ice machines, propane, electrical connections, etc. These dangers pose an unreasonable safety risk to children. Elementary school aged children do not realize the risks associated with the dangerous conditions created by the presence of a storage facility and parking lot. It is less of a burden to REJECT application #3300 than to remove the many risks posed to neighborhood children.
6. Abandoned storage facilities: Abandoned storage facilities from failed or failing storage businesses create threats to residential neighborhoods, property values, and County interests. There are already 22 existing storage facility businesses within 6 miles of the proposed facility location with vacant units available for rent. Overbuilding the market will further impact these businesses from maintaining a profitable capacity, and will run the risk of this new business failing early. In their own current Form 10-K filing with the SEC, Life Storage, Inc. acknowledges “fluctuating demand and significant competition” as a known risk factor facing their business, stating the following: “The self-storage industry has at times experienced overbuilding in response to perceived increases in demand. A recurrence of overbuilding might cause us to experience a decrease in occupancy levels, limit our ability to increase rents, and compel us to offer discounted rents.” We, the undersigned, also see storage wars on the rise, where individual units go unpaid and create the need for live and online auctions of storage units in a residential community. Currently, 11 storage facilities in Flagler County have auctions scheduled. The volume of new storage businesses that have recently opened their businesses in the area and more attempting to do so demonstrate we have reached the point of overbuilding in Flagler County which would contribute to an increase in the likelihood of abandoned facilities in Flagler County.
7. Environmental Destruction: The proposed site location currently has several mature Florida trees, that should be preserved because their loss would take several decades to mitigate. Water runoff and other pollution created from the proposed parking lot and storage facility will damage neighboring residential properties and wetlands.
8. Emergency Services Strain: The proposal does not take into account the strain so many more vehicles, RV's and Boat Haulers will place on expensive City and County resources, especially emergency services.
The Flagler County Planning and Development Board has incredible power and responsibility to approve or REJECT any application for proposed buildings. This is Flagler County’s opportunity to REJECT application #3300 and they are UNDER NO COMMITMENT TO MOVE FORWARD, despite corporate efforts, applications, and investments made to date. Flagler County is not required to approve an application simply because it meets technical requirements when it is demonstrated that its fulfillment will unreasonably diminish the quality of life in the neighborhood. These impacted neighborhoods contain high quality valuable homes that will lose value and see their quality of life destroyed by this type of proposed facility being built on this property. Any development should enhance residents’ lives, not merely the developer’s wallet.